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Aggravated Sexual Assault

California Penal Code section 243.4 covers the crime of aggravated sexual assault. According to the law, an aggravated sexual assault occurs when one touches the intimate part of another person against that person’s will for the specific purpose of either sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse. It is important to note that the law does not require actual penetration or sexual intercourse and that a sexual assault can occur even when one is involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with the victim.

This code section also list the aggravating circumstances that make a sexual assault an aggravated sexual assault. An aggravated sexual assault occurs when, in addition to the above listed actions, the victim is:

  • Unlawfully restrained
  • Institutionalized for medical treatment and is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated
  • Unaware of the nature of the act because due to fraudulent misrepresentation that the touching served a professional purpose
  • Made to masturbate or touch the intimate part of the perpetrator

The Penalties

Without these aggravating circumstances, the law defines a sexual assault as a misdemeanor. The punishment for a misdemeanor sexual assault is up to six months in a county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, if the victim is your employee, then the fine will increase to $3,000.00. In addition, you will face up to five years of informal probation, which could include community service, completion of a batterer’s education program and/or completion of a program designed to help those with sexual abuse issues. It is also important that you could also be listed as a registered sex offender under California Penal Code section 290.

When the above cited aggravating circumstances exist, California’s "wobbler" law applies, meaning the prosecutor has the choice to file the charge as a misdemeanor or as a felony. This decision will be based on the facts of the case and your criminal history. A felony conviction will result in formal probation, between two and four years in a state prison, plus an additional three to five years if the victim has sustained "great bodily injury", a maximum fine of $10,000 and automatic lifetime membership to the California sex offender registry.

Your California Sex Crime Defense Attorney

In order to properly defend against your California aggravated sexual assault charge and to protect your reputation, career and family, you need to seek the advice of an experienced California sex crimes lawyer. The Law Offices of Jonathan I. Kelman specialize in defending California aggravated sexual assault charges. If you or a loved one is facing a California criminal charge, seek the support of an attorney practicing only in criminal defense.

Remember, when your future is on the line, call the Law Offices of Jonathan I. Kelman at 310.286.1218 for your free initial consultation.

Office Locations

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Studio City, CA 91604

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Los Angeles, CA 90012

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